Libidibia ferrea (Mart. ex Tul.) L. P. Queiroz is a medicinal plant widely known in Brazil as “jucá” or “pauferro” that belongs to the Fabaceae family. The species is native to Brazil and is mainly found in the North and Northeastern regions. It has been studied for its biological activities and chemical composition. Scientific literature has reported that this species contains different extracts and/or isolated compounds which have antimicrobial, anti-inflamatory, analgesic, antioxidant and hypoglycemic properties, as well as others that are in popular use. The phytochemical literature reports on the presence of fatty acids, terpenoids, phenolic compounds and polysaccharides. However, further studies are necessary to find new bioactive molecules with biological relevance based on traditional medicine. The purpose of this review is to provide a broad and updated overview about the relevance of Libidibia ferrea species in regard to general aspects, traditional medicines, biological activities and chemical composition data.
Key words: Libidibia ferrea, medicinal properties, phytochemistry.
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